Friday, September 29, 2023

Preparing for conference competition

As the season progresses, the Plattsburgh State lacrosse team continues to use their non-conference matchups to prepare for SUNYAC competition, which is quickly approaching.

The Cardinals’ (4-4) past two games against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MIT continue to build their skills and strengths to play against conference opponents.

Senior defenseman Sean Murphy said playing against nationally ranked teams like the Cards have done this season will help the team moving forward in its schedule.

“It’s unbelievable preparation right now,” Murphy said. “We want to play the best teams. We would rather have them expose our weaknesses and us perfect whatever we are doing wrong before conference play, so that once SUNYAC comes around, we just roll through teams and hopefully go undefeated.”

In PSUC’s past two contests, the Cards fell to RPI 9-6 Wednesday and tallied a victory against MIT 12-8 last Saturday.

In their game against RPI, PSUC played a close first half with the score being tied 4-4 midway through the =second quarter, but with just under six minutes remaining in the half, RPI began a run of five unanswered goals that stretched into the third quarter, which gave the Engineers control of the game.

Despite the loss, multiple Cards scored goals. Senior attackman and midfielder Brendan Damm finished the game with two goals, and sophomore midfielder Matt Prokesch, junior attackman Ryan Callahan, senior midfielder Joey Kromer and attackman Patrick Nash all scored one.

Looking at PSUC’s game against MIT, where the team tallied the win, the Cards had a similar scoring output, and head coach Joe May said ball movement was a key to victory.

“I thought we really ran our offense that second quarter, and we had guys playing unselfish lacrosse,” May said. “They were moving the ball really well and trying to get their teammates goals instead of trying to get the goals for themselves.”

May acknowledged how the team focused on playing unselfishly in practice during the week leading up to MIT.

The Cards started off well in the first quarter, and they only got better in the second, scoring eight goals. They cooled off in the second half, being outscored 5-2, but it was still good enough to secure the win.

Damm, once again, highlighted the game with three goals and now leads the team with 17 tallies this season. Damm said PSUC is playing well together and cited team chemistry as one of the main reasons why.

“Our team chemistry has grown immensely,” Damm said. “We have a lot of guys that have not played together before this year. Guys are starting to click, and I think we have some big things to come during the second half of the season.”

As the Cards continue to get ready for SUNYAC play, they will have one more non-conference matchup against Saint Lawrence University next Wednesday at 7 p.m. on their home turf, and the team believes they have a lot of players who can contribute.

“Our depth will play a factor next game,” Murphy said. “Our third string guys play just as well as our first string guys. Their first string guys are phenomenal, and we have to respect them like everyone else in this league, but that’s where we will beat them.”

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